Porn Queens and Prom Kings

The feminist pornographer in me is still giddy from my recent trip to Los Angeles. I didn't go there just to make the rounds of all the strip clubs; I was actually working. And, boy, do I love what I do. I was there to shoot the sequel to my video, The Ultimate Guide to Anal Sex for Women, which I'm calling The Ultimate Guide to Anal Sex for Women 2. I know, it doesn't make sense grammatically, but hey, it's porno, not the video version of The Chicago Manual of Style.

I got to do Nina Hartley in the ass in the last video, but for this project, the porn queen served as a behind-the-scenes creative consultant. She was the ultimate sorority dance chaperone on the set, a hottie who will give you punch and cookies and flash you her tits! One morning, she made breakfast for the cast and crew. Do you know how surreal it is to walk onto the set of a porn movie you are directing and have Nina Hartley—arguably the most well-known adult film star of all time—bat her eyelashes and ask, "Do you want your egg sandwich on white or wheat?" I almost expected Eminem to come around the corner, wearing a collar, ready to drop to his knees and service me. But that would be too weird—I mean, both things happening at the same time.

Nina's presence wasn't the only thing that made the work so fun. When the performers finished their scenes, they thanked me, made off with a favorite sex toy, and generally gushed about what a good time they had. It made me feel great—creating a sexual workplace where people enjoy what they do and don't feel coerced, exploited, or generally shit on.

I returned home ready to celebrate the video production as well as my 30th birthday. On the actual day of my birthday, another fete, ironically related to mine, was happening in Washington, D.C. On May 9, Attorney General John Ashcroft met with Republican congressmembers and people from an organization called Victims of Pornography who are lobbying for new prosecutions and harsher penalties for purveyors of smut. The meeting was VOP's idea of a kickoff to launch its month-long antiporn campaign; that's right, you probably weren't aware that May is Victims of Pornography Month. According to many of these right-wing organizations, we are all victims of pornography, whether we make it, distribute it, consume it, or not. And, as usual, they love to talk about child pornography and abuse in order to sicken everyone into joining their censorship crusade.

If you want to see the bizarre exploitation of children, well look no further than the absolutely brilliant HBO documentary The Making of a Child Beauty Queen, in which filmmakers followed several players in the child pageant circuit. The fact that Swan, the little girl who is the focus of the film, is a dead ringer for JonBenet Ramsey is the least disturbing aspect of the story. Her drill-sergeant mother calls her stupid for forgetting the words to a song—the girl's five years old—and every other mother around her behaves in exactly the same way. Plus, we meet two gay men named Shane and Michael, the "pageant coaches" who doll up the little girls. They do image makeovers, coordinate glamorous photo shoots, choreograph dance and pageant numbers, consult on which hideously poofy taffeta mini-prom dress is best (a used one is only $1200!), and hair-tease and mascara girls until they look like Tammy Faye Bakker. By the time these girls get to their own proms, they're going to look 40.

Speaking of proms, when I was in high school, I didn't want to be prom queen as much as I wanted to do the prom queen. Which, at that point, was absolutely out of the question. Maybe it's not anymore. Upon my return from pornoland, my mom told me that there was going to be a gay prom this year in my Long Island hometown, Sayville. You might think that back when I went to school, Sayville was a tiny bit hip or liberal, since it is not only a suburb of New York City but also the famed place where queers have been boarding the ferries to Fire Island since before I was born. Trust me, it was like living in the middle of Iowa, tediously suburban, but with more malls and different accents. There were no "out" gay students. There were speculations about a few teachers but no dialogue about gays and lesbians except the usual homophobic high school banter.

Maybe the organizers of the gay prom picked Sayville because it's smack dab in the middle of Long Island, easy to get to from all directions, or maybe the Island Hills Golf and Country Club gave them the best deal. Whatever the reason, it makes me proud to know that kids have options I couldn't even imagine when I was in high school. The timing is uncanny, by the way, that weeks later, R.E.M. frontman (or should I say backman?) Michael Stipe finally came out of the closet. Coincidence? I think not—he's obviously got his eye on the coveted prom chaperone job. Proms have changed a lot since the year I wore a hunter-green velvet and taffeta dress, went with a guy friend who I ditched to go camping with my buddies later that night (sorry, Chris!), and danced to our theme song, some cheesy ballad by Bon Jovi. This year, in Ferndale, Washington, students elected a woman prom king. And not just any woman, but a big, butch, out dyke who brought her girlfriend to the prom. The openly gay senior, Krystal Bennett, saw it as a great political statement. Parents got on the phone and complained, and now the principal says there will be clearer guidelines about who can and cannot be nominated; I am sure it will be based on gender (like only boys can be kings—well, tell that to Murray Hill). This system will work for a while to squash the gay kids from reigning as queens, and the butch dykes from flagrantly waving their scepters; however, the administrative bigots will get tripped up again when the first openly transgendered student wants to be nominated. It'll happen, and I can't wait to chaperone that prom.


Visit my Web site: www.puckerup.com

 
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